In case you weren’t paying close attention, last Monday was Groundhog Day.
Punxsutawney Phil came out of his burrow, saw his shadow, the news cameras, the reporters . . . and went back in, an omen of six more weeks of winter — to say nothing of acid indigestion, sinking investments, tinnitus, poor cellphone reception, and more.
But I am patient and Phil and I go back a long time. I waited until all the media went home, amused myself by draining my thermos of Trader Joe’s coffee, and waited. Then Phil gingerly came out again, after I’d assured him that it was safe: even PBS and NPR had gone home.
He looked weary; he always does after these appearances. But he gestured to me to come closer. After we’d exchanged hellos and I’d asked about the family (they’re all fine), he whispered, “Look. Of course the news is bad. There’s going to be bankruptcies and not enough hot water in the kitchen sink. But don’t despair. Hope is in sight.”
“What do you mean, Phil?” I asked.
“I’m getting out of here — hitching a ride with two jazz-loving woodchucks I know — in time to be in Manhattan on Thursday, February 19, at 8 PM. We’re going to sneak in to Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights in Jazz concert downtown. It’s his 36th anniversary! And Jack is so caught up in the music he never notices us. It’s where these concerts always take place: the Borough of Manhattan Community College at 199 Chambers Street, www.tribecapac.org. David Ostwald and his Louis Armstrong Centennial Band will be there — David on tuba, Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpet, Wycliffe Gordon on trombone, Anat Cohen on clarinet, Kevin Dorn on drums. And two of the music’s most memorable players will be there — Dick Hyman and Joe Wilder! Maybe they’ll even do ‘Seventy-Six Trombones,’ my favorite!”
“Dick Hyman, Joe Wilder, Kevin Dorn, Jon-Erik Kellso, Wycliffe Gordon, Anat Cohen, and David Ostwald?” I repeated incredulously.
“You humans have difficulty with good news, don’t you?” Phil hissed. “And, knowing Jack, there might be a surprise guest or two.”
The moral of the story: don’t crawl into your own personal burrow just because the news is rotten and the winds are cold. Be sure to join us on February 19: I think the Beloved and I are in row H.
“Hasta luego!” as Phil always says — even though his Spanish accent is execrable.
Tickets for individual concerts may be ordered for $35.00, students $32.50. Make checks payable to: Highlights in Jazz – Mail to: Highlights in Jazz, 7 Peter Cooper Rd., New York, NY 10010
(Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope, which I usually ALMOST forget to do.)
TRIBECA Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street
TRIBECA Box Office at (212) 220-1460
For Interviews, photos and general Highlights In Jazz information, contact:
Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services
269 S Route 94 Warwick, NY 10990
T: 845-986-1677 / F: 845-986-1699
Web Site: http://www.jazzpromoservices.com/